Facebook relationship status: not as simple as it sounds

Living in the Facebook era, it is almost impossible to tell the relationship status of your friends and acquaintances. Here are a few simple ways to tell the difference between a legit Facebook relationship and a fake.

1.) To be "In a Relationship" on Facebook means nothing in the real world. However, if the people are actually in a relationship, there are probably pages of wall posts between them. Trust your gut with this one. If you see these two people hanging out in between classes or making out at the IB, they are probably in a legit Facebook relationship.

2.) Often, one will "Facebook Marry" another person. This also means nothing, especially if the Facebook brides have listed that they are, in fact, interested in men. Facebook Marrying is more frequent between girlfriends. In my experience, if a guy is listed as married or engaged, he probably is. Another clue that this union may not be legit is if one or both Facebook spouses belong to the group, "Straight People Who Facebook-Marry their Straight Same-Sex Friends." A group on the Geneseo Facebook, it's description includes the Facebook vow, "for better or for worse, in sickness or in health, blah blah blah, 'til death or a real relationship do us part.."

3.) To be "In an Open Relationship" on Facebook is basically just a way to link your Facebook profile up to a friend's. Just like with Marriages, Open Relationships are usually between two best friends. It is easy to tell if the two girls or two boys involved in this open relationship are for real by what they list that they are interested in.

4.) "It's complicated." I have seen very few people use this for real. To admit to the Facebook community that you are actually "complicated" with your real life boyfriend or girlfriend is only inviting trouble.

5.) Listing yourself as "single" on Facebook is the most truthful someone can be on this mostly fictitious networking site. You can list all the fake favorite movies and post profile pictures of whoever you want; but if you are listed as "single," you actually are.

Facebook is a Web site that has hijacked our free time and taken over our lives. I ask that the next time you log in, scroll through your mini-feed and pay close attention to the updated relationship stories of your friends. While some may be fake and others may be real, I ask that you don't think too long about which is which. Chances are, you probably spend too much time on Facebook already.

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